On February 9, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) announced that applications for Washington residents and seafood businesses that suffered economic losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic may now submit applications for economic relief to the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission (“PSMFC”). This includes Washington residents who commercially fish in Alaska and Washington. WDFW’s press release can be found here. As mentioned above, the PSMFC will be administering the program. Here is a link to PSMFC’s website. The application materials on PSMFC’s website can be found here. The application deadline is March 25, 2021. Specific questions about the application and eligibility criteria are best directed to PSMFC. Alaska’s Cares Act Seafood Disaster Relief spending plan is awaiting approval by NOAA Fisheries, which will also be administered by PSMFC.
The BBR Board of Directors has canceled the 2020 BBR Annual Meeting in accordance with Governor Jay Inslee’s restrictions on in-person gatherings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The PSVOA Board of Directors has canceled the 2020 PSVOA/SVR Annual Meeting previously scheduled on November 14, 2020, in accordance with Governor Jay Inslee’s restrictions on in-person gatherings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. SVR members will receive a copy of the 2019 SVR Financial Report by U.S. Mail by the end of October.
The Sullivan campaign’s press release announcing PSVOA’s endorsement can be found here.
On September 9, the White House announced $530 million dedicated to USDA’s Seafood Trade Relief Program (STRP). The STRP provides payments to eligible commercial fishermen of seafood commodities that have been impacted by trade actions of foreign governments resulting in the loss of exports. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) administers STRP on behalf of the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC). Payments are for the purpose of expanding or aiding in the expansion of domestic markets for U.S. caught and sold seafood. The seafood species supported by this program include: salmon, Dungeness crab, sablefish, squid, pollock, Pacific Cod, and tuna among others. Eligible STRP production includes the marine species harvested in calendar year 2019. Fishermen can submit online applications for relief under this program beginning on September 14 through December 14. Fishermen are to apply through their local USDA service center. Application forms, local USDA Service Center location information, and other useful information about the Program can be found on the USDA’s website. Additional information about the Program can be found in the Federal Register Notice of Funding.
On July 4, President Trump signed into law legislation passed by Congress that extends the deadline to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from June 30 to August 8. As reported here previously, commercial fishing businesses may now include crew wages in the PPP Loan application pursuant to recent changes to the program adopted by U.S. Treasury and the Small Business Administration.
On June 25, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Department of Treasury released a rule that will allow commercial fishing businesses to account for crew member payroll when applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. While commercial fishing businesses have been eligible to receive PPP loans, these businesses were not able to account for crewmember wages when calculating payroll costs in applying for a PPP loan. However, this rule change allows these businesses to include crew wages in the PPP Loan application. More information about the rule change can be found here in SBA’s most recent guidance. Note: Commercial fishermen have until June 30, 2020 to apply for a PPP loan.